Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, the Silicon Valley company, who is currently on trial in federal court in California for securities fraud, has always professed to be something of a polymath, a West Coast Albert Einstein, given her drive to solve the world’s medical problems at great cost. Her problems started building in earnest in 2015, when the New York Times reported on how the “struggling blood testing company kept donors behind a locked door”, going undetected for most of its existence.
Holmes is the first woman to run a Silicon Valley technology company. In his job interview with the Stanford professor before she first offered him a job with Theranos in 2013, CEO Lloyd Jacobson described her as “more focused, more focused on results and more focused on results and results.”
In court this week, prosecutors pressed Holmes on what she knew about the company’s only other commercial product. Her explanation was terse. At the time of the failures at Theranos, “I didn’t know enough about how much risk there was,” Holmes told the judge, saying that she did know that the company “would have to go through rigorous testing.” She insisted that was true even though at the time she was an employee and board member.
The first two days of the trial on Monday and Tuesday. Holmes has yet to testify.